Mike Strange: Butch Jones outlines aggressive plan to stop the bleeding

Mike Strange
Tennessee coach Butch Jones and his players watch the review as the placement of the call was questioned by Vanderbilt during the fourth quarter Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013 in Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn.  (MICHAEL PATRICK/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Michael Patrick

Tennessee coach Butch Jones and his players watch the review as the placement of the call was questioned by Vanderbilt during the fourth quarter Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013 in Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn. (MICHAEL PATRICK/NEWS SENTINEL)

The standing ovation that greeted Butch Jones at the Knoxville Quarterback Club on Monday seemed genuine.

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Comments » 17

WaitUntilNextYear writes:

A likely 5 and 7 record at best will not evoke a positive standing ovation next year even with a club of optimists.
Dave Hart doesn't have a clue about managing a winning athletic program. Hamilton destroyed athletics and almost bankrupted the programs with his incompetence, while Hart has allowed losing to be commonplace on campus. Every sport is getting worse every year with many of them in shambles with coaches and athletes. Hopefully, men's and woman's basketball can earn national rankings and success this year.
The fan has been left behind by the arrogance on Lake Loudon Boulevard. The SEC network, escalating prices for donations, tickets, parking and concessions along with continued losing at home will exacerbate empty seats and indifference to Tennessee Athletics. This is an unsustainable business plan.

rogatl2002#222395 writes:

in response to WaitUntilNextYear:

A likely 5 and 7 record at best will not evoke a positive standing ovation next year even with a club of optimists.
Dave Hart doesn't have a clue about managing a winning athletic program. Hamilton destroyed athletics and almost bankrupted the programs with his incompetence, while Hart has allowed losing to be commonplace on campus. Every sport is getting worse every year with many of them in shambles with coaches and athletes. Hopefully, men's and woman's basketball can earn national rankings and success this year.
The fan has been left behind by the arrogance on Lake Loudon Boulevard. The SEC network, escalating prices for donations, tickets, parking and concessions along with continued losing at home will exacerbate empty seats and indifference to Tennessee Athletics. This is an unsustainable business plan.

So agree. Hart needs to go. Cheek needs to go. Tennessee used to run a class Athletics program. Then they take the women's athletic program which built a standard of excellence at every level and completely mis-manage that merger at every level. Dave Hart telling Pat Summitt she won't be returning as coach? I hope she saved her final "stare" for him. They should have hired Joan Cronan instead of Hart.

Caspian writes:

in response to rogatl2002#222395:

So agree. Hart needs to go. Cheek needs to go. Tennessee used to run a class Athletics program. Then they take the women's athletic program which built a standard of excellence at every level and completely mis-manage that merger at every level. Dave Hart telling Pat Summitt she won't be returning as coach? I hope she saved her final "stare" for him. They should have hired Joan Cronan instead of Hart.

Pat Summitt has Alzheimer's.
Joan Cronan said she wasn't interested in the job.

798orange writes:

in response to WaitUntilNextYear:

A likely 5 and 7 record at best will not evoke a positive standing ovation next year even with a club of optimists.
Dave Hart doesn't have a clue about managing a winning athletic program. Hamilton destroyed athletics and almost bankrupted the programs with his incompetence, while Hart has allowed losing to be commonplace on campus. Every sport is getting worse every year with many of them in shambles with coaches and athletes. Hopefully, men's and woman's basketball can earn national rankings and success this year.
The fan has been left behind by the arrogance on Lake Loudon Boulevard. The SEC network, escalating prices for donations, tickets, parking and concessions along with continued losing at home will exacerbate empty seats and indifference to Tennessee Athletics. This is an unsustainable business plan.

You are correct in your observation of the escalating cost of attending games. That started long before Hart got here. However, your criticism of his ability to run an athletic department is off the mark. Check the won-lost record of FSU athletics while he was there.

rogatl2002#222395 writes:

in response to Caspian:

Pat Summitt has Alzheimer's.
Joan Cronan said she wasn't interested in the job.

Pat Summitt would have stepped down and Joan Cronin wouldn't have been considered for the job. Hart is a classless bully. Cheek is just flat incompetent. When I went to UT we were nationally competitive in just about every men's sport...now we have lawsuits, huge payouts to ex-coaches, feuding with the band...the BAND.

TommyJack writes:

Dave Hart, huh? A 63 yr old guy that dyes his hair and has face lifts gives me pause.

Plasticman85 writes:

in response to rogatl2002#222395:

Pat Summitt would have stepped down and Joan Cronin wouldn't have been considered for the job. Hart is a classless bully. Cheek is just flat incompetent. When I went to UT we were nationally competitive in just about every men's sport...now we have lawsuits, huge payouts to ex-coaches, feuding with the band...the BAND.

Cheek and Susan Martin are the main reasons( besides the incompetent Mike Hamilton) our athletics program has reached this level. When will the someone on the Hill realize this and get rid of Cheek and Martin?

underthehill writes:

in response to 798orange:

You are correct in your observation of the escalating cost of attending games. That started long before Hart got here. However, your criticism of his ability to run an athletic department is off the mark. Check the won-lost record of FSU athletics while he was there.

Check the fact he was fired at FSU ..and the reasons for that firing..or not being rehired as some prefer to call it..

underthehill writes:

It would be interesting to poll whether or not Hart should have been hired..and/or how well he has done his job..

Allenfan writes:

Most of the critical remarks above are from "fan's" that know very little about the game. This downfall started with Coach Fulmer, got worse with Kiffin, and reached bottom with Dooley. There is no one who could have replaced Dooley and won in our conference in his first year. The talent is not there yet, and ww also had a number of injuries. Remember we have very little depth. I hope things are changing for the better, but I am ready to give him the opportunity. The recruits he has lined up will certainly help. If by chance, he is not the Coach we think, then the next one will surely have some talent as well as depth to work with.

SummerfieldVol writes:

I can not blame the AD for our problems except for the hiring of Dooley, it just took him to long to admit to his self he made a mistake and fix the problem. The problem lies with the past coaches and the people who recruited the player who are now playing. Now in a couple of years we will be playing with coach Jones recruits. We are playing with Kiffin's and Dooley's players. I will say that CBJ will find out next year just what kind of coaching staff he has. Rebuilding the offensive line, replacing part of the defensive line. I will give this staff a pass this year but next year is a different story.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to SummerfieldVol:

I can not blame the AD for our problems except for the hiring of Dooley, it just took him to long to admit to his self he made a mistake and fix the problem. The problem lies with the past coaches and the people who recruited the player who are now playing. Now in a couple of years we will be playing with coach Jones recruits. We are playing with Kiffin's and Dooley's players. I will say that CBJ will find out next year just what kind of coaching staff he has. Rebuilding the offensive line, replacing part of the defensive line. I will give this staff a pass this year but next year is a different story.

Because of the rebuilding tasks you mentioned, I don't see why Jones wouldn't be entitled to a little slack for next year as well. Not many teams can win in the SEC with freshmen, JUCOs, and scrubs on both lines as starters AND depth. Oh yeah, they also need a kicker AND a punter.

On the plus side, there should be a significant improvement in speed at both the offensive and defensive skill positions. There may be a couple of real game-breakers at WR and in the return game. Jalen Hurd may be an upgrade at RB, though it may not make much difference if nobody can block for him or if the defense can't hold the score down enough to where the offense doesn't have to try to throw it all over the lot to get back in games.

We KNEW we were going to have to commit to a long-term rebuilding project to dig our way out of the hole we were in. This is what rebuilding looks like! Probably none of us, fans OR coaches, fully realized just how deep that hole was. Jones didn't dig the hole, but he is the only hope we have right now for climbing out of it within the next several years. I know everybody is bummed out right now--I am, too!--but it just won't help to start grumbling about Jones or putting him on the clock right now.

volbald writes:

2-years and two great recruiting classes before Jones can get his head above water. 2015 - UT may break even at 6-6 and a bowl game if the current 4-star recruits pan out. 2016 - UT should be able to give S.C., Fla., and UGA a run for their money. If MO continues as is, MO will be winning the East every year until UT can overtake it. By 2017 we'll know if Jones is the real winner we hope he is. Maybe Saban retires before then. Until then, it's "hurry up and wait."

bfaj34#1436246 writes:

Trust and believe naysayers. Happy Thanksgiving and GO VOLS!

FWBVol writes:

in response to SummerfieldVol:

I can not blame the AD for our problems except for the hiring of Dooley, it just took him to long to admit to his self he made a mistake and fix the problem. The problem lies with the past coaches and the people who recruited the player who are now playing. Now in a couple of years we will be playing with coach Jones recruits. We are playing with Kiffin's and Dooley's players. I will say that CBJ will find out next year just what kind of coaching staff he has. Rebuilding the offensive line, replacing part of the defensive line. I will give this staff a pass this year but next year is a different story.

Current AD Dave Hart didn't hire Derek Dooley, the previous AD, Mike Hamilton, hired Dooley.

ThirdCreek writes:

There just seems to be a real bad vibe to UT these days in many ways and not just athletics. UT had bad or mediocre football teams in the past in Johnny Majors' first four years but I do not recall things feeling this sour.

writer#358485 writes:

in response to volbald:

2-years and two great recruiting classes before Jones can get his head above water. 2015 - UT may break even at 6-6 and a bowl game if the current 4-star recruits pan out. 2016 - UT should be able to give S.C., Fla., and UGA a run for their money. If MO continues as is, MO will be winning the East every year until UT can overtake it. By 2017 we'll know if Jones is the real winner we hope he is. Maybe Saban retires before then. Until then, it's "hurry up and wait."

Most thoughtful post in this chain. It will take at least two years to get off the mat. Jones seems likely to be able to do it, but even he is no miracle man. Looking forward to 2017!

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